Weekend reading: USDA’s analysis of decline in mid-size farms
The USDA has a report out on midsize farms, those with gross cash farm income of $350,000 to $1 million.
The reason for the report is that the number of midsize farms declined by 5% from 1992 to 2012.
How worried should we be about this? Of the 125,000 midsize farms, the great majority grow grain and oilseeds—animal feed.
- The loss in midsize farms is higher among beginning farmers, retired farmers, and renters.
- Government subsidies helped stave off losses.
- If past patterns hold, a significant percentage (15%?) of today’s midsize farms will be tomorrow’s large farms.
I can’t wait to see how the next farm bill handles this one.